How Many Black Belts Does Steven Seagal Really Have?


Steven Seagal is a great many things: Actor,
blues musician, a reportedly difficult coworker, possibly useless in an actual fight. However, back in the days when he was more
famous than infamous, he was known as a martial artist. Although Seagal has been known to spin the
occasional tall tale about his abilities and role in training assorted famous fighters,
his status as a dude who is very good at aikido is rarely disputed. Should his claims of aikido royalty be taken
at face value, though? Whatever your opinion of Steven Seagal may
otherwise be, his black belts are very real. Yes, that’s “belts” in plural: Though Seagal
is mainly known for his aikido wizardry, he’s also the proud owner of black belts in karate,
kendo, and judo. Seagal has been heavily into martial arts
since he was a small child, and he moved to Japan when he was 17 to “study Zen” and hone
his martial arts skills. He ended up spending around 15 years in Asia
doing all sorts of Steven Seagal things, such as “studying Eastern philosophy” and working
as a martial arts choreographer. As chuckle-worthy and/or worrisome as Steven
Seagal’s antics might be these days, if you ask his old aikido cohort Haruo Matsuoka,
Seagal is, or at least used to be, the real deal. According to Black Belt Mag, Matsuoka was
one of Sensei Seagal’s favorite students in the 1970s, and Seagal even recruited him as
his uke – the guy all those aikido moves are demonstrated on – when he set out to conquer
Hollywood. Matsuoka and the article both make Seagal’s
brand of aikido seem like a fairly ruthless, brutal and street-ready affair that drew heavy
influence from Japanese swordsmanship. Apparently, Seagal held great influence within
aikido circles and was on great terms with at least some of the higher-ups. Matsuoka even points out that aikido had an
extremely hard time in the west, until Seagal’s 1988 breakthrough movie Above The Law caused
the art’s popularity to explode virtually overnight. On the other hand, Matsuoka points out that
Seagal’s newfangled famous-person ways ultimately estranged the two, and caused them to fall
out in 1997. Fittingly, that’s around the era that Seagal
started moving from box office successes like Under Siege to direct-to-video fare like The
Patriot. Steven Seagal may be an aikido master, but
his reported judo prowess might be a bit less impressive. At least, if you believe the story of his
altercation with a man nicknamed “Judo.” Gene “Judo” LeBell, a bona fide martial arts
legend, apparently taught Seagal some humility while serving as the fight choreographer for
the Seagal vehicle Out For Justice. When Seagal boasted that he simply couldn’t
be choked out, LeBell happily took up the challenge. As a result of this very brief altercation,
Seagal passed out so hard that he, well, evacuated his bowels. In front of about thirty stuntmen and crew
members, if you believe LeBell. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” To be entirely fair, LeBell is perfectly cordial
about the incident and says he respects Seagal as a martial artist, though he points out
that the aikido master would do well if he abstained from speaking in potential foot-in-mouth
situations. It should also be noted that LeBell has been
known to tell a tale or two in his time, and Seagal himself vehemently denies this ever
happened. Still, one would probably be forgiven for
not betting on Seagal in a judo match. “Who are you? Are you like some special forces guy or something?” “I’m just a cook.” “A cook?” Karate might not be the first martial art
you associate with Steven Seagal, but it turns out he started his studies as a karate kid. That’s not clever wordplay, either: He actually
studied under Fumio Demura, a man who also trained Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi
in The Karate Kid movies and brought a lot of Demura to the role. According to the Daily Beast, Demura has played
a part inspiring legends such as Dolph Lundgren and Chuck Norris. He even worked with Bruce Lee, who he briefly
tutored on the use of nunchaku. Seagal is happy to sing his old master’s praises: “Demura sensei’s the real thing.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
martial artists are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

100 thoughts on “How Many Black Belts Does Steven Seagal Really Have?

  1. To quote Bruce Lee “martial art is an art of physically expressing oneself.”
    Nowadays, it seems that martial arts has gone from what Bruce Lee called it to being a case of one or more person involved in physically altercating fights in movies, television shows and these mixed martial art shows for the sake of putting on a show for stylistic purposes and for profit. It’s been like…what?
    Nine to…thirteen years since I last saw and watched a martial art movie at all. Almost two years since I last watched any movie Hollywood has put out since basically I’m watching some to little normal television and mostly watching anything YouTube related. Mainly because on YouTube, there are no commercials to bother with and there are zero drug ads and commercials every three to five minutes. Between the martial art films from the last forty to fifty something years ago, there are so very few martial art cinema legends out there today who are——you know what? I should just stop talking right here and just let things be. Besides, Steven Segal has come and went from where he was and where he’s at now and today, I’m leaving it at that. It’s just best to let our actions speak for themselves. But I can say this though. I miss Bruce Lee. If he had not died and was still alive today, martial art cinema wouldn’t be where it’s at and wouldn’t be in its slump of originality and creativity. Like Lee always stated, we all need as much…emotional content every now and then.

  2. As objectionable as he might be on a personal basis, and now admittedly well past his prime, back in the day he probably could have messed up the majority of his critics. Being in the movies isn't much of a fighting credential? Neither is fighting from a keyboard.

  3. He's one of only 5 grandmasters in the world in his art. Over 40 years Akido .say what you want but he has been doing his art longer than most have been living. He was the first foreigner to open a dojo in Japan.

  4. Aikido is not an easy art to apply on the streets unless you have trained for decades in it.try ninjitsu if your looking to be a tough guy after a few classes lol

  5. Executive Decision has one of my favorite Seagal scenes of all time – not even a third of the way into the movie:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU1VZld8kUs

  6. He’s just an arrogant pig 🐷 , Belt smelt 🙀⁉️Nothing a Glock can’t sort out 🤪😂🤣😂🤣☠️

  7. Evidence of his judo blackbelt?
    Aikido is bullshit. But judo is real.
    I’ve seen no evidence of him doing judo

  8. Sorry but I never cared for him, and care even less about his shitty looking hair weave. And I can assure you that Chuck Norris could kick his ass.

  9. Steven Seagal has eleventeen black belts to hold up his skirts. Back at the Dojo we call him poopy pants…

  10. By His movements i can Tell you guys. He should have none. Each of my yellow belt Students could Beat him.

  11. He’s so full of shit on everything he says , you can’t believe one word that comes out fo Steven seagals mouth

  12. I never underestimate anyone.Steven Seagull is very successful and has done very well in his career even if he is not a black belt.Perhaps he is and perhaps he isnt.Does it really matter as he is a entertainer?.Bruce Lee was not a certified Black belt yet he trained for speed,strength and agility.Bruce Lee also was a philosopher and had great wisdom about life and wrote about it and taught others.Im sure not many black belts could beat him in a real fight. Bruce Lee was in tip top condition and was an actor yet he was leathal in a real fight.lm sure there are many Shoalin Monks in China who could annialate the most popular martial arts film stars we all admire.Yet they choose to train and teach others and remain humble and true to the philosophy of there chosen style.No matter how good a person says they are in anything there will always be someone who is better.Martial arts or any sports is really about improving yourself in body,mind and soul.And helping each other to get though our life!🙏

  13. I met him once,and noticing his girth ,asked him "Is that a belt around your waist,or the equator?"He just laughed his ass off and asked me if I was hungry.

  14. Why is everyone picking on Steven segal. I think that Heather best and doesn't deserve the disrespect he's getting. I love this guy. He's great no matter what movie he's in or making. He's one of my favorite martial artists .

  15. He’s a piece of shit enjoy Russia asshole eating beats and frozen carrots traitor 🖕🏾🖕🏾🖕🏾🖕🏾

  16. Personally, I have 3 black belts, 3 brown ones, and 1 shiny blue one. Impressive? You bet, and some of them are leather too…

  17. You can have ten yet having them and being good at them our two different things . Lot of people just go thru to say they have them yet they are no good at them

  18. Allthe black belts in the world and the asshole still runs like a girl. If you notice his movies never show his legs when he runs, but once in a while you'll get a glimpse of it, what a sissy Lala

  19. Segal is eating himself to death! If food doesn't kill him than that black hair die probably will. He speaks like he has copd or emphysema! Can't get his breath.

  20. With my broken wrist and heels I have a good feeling I could keep up with his bullshit martial arts skill

  21. What I think is soooo funny is that all of you out there that make your rude and down right unfavorable comments, should acknowledge his achievements in Akido as a Grand Master instead of criticizing him. His BLACK BELTS are real! Personally, he is one of my favorite American martial artists and I think there are very few who could beat him. I didn't say actors, except for in his earlier films!

    If any of you think that he just throws his hands around and only uses low kicks, it's because you DO NOT know anything about Akido. Besides that, I bet very few if any would like to find that out personally. LOL

    Wing Chun (Ip Man is without a doubt the greatest Grandmaster of all times and one of my favorites) is somewhat the same in as far as low kicks. He is arrogant, but he can be! Lots of things may be true about him, but being a bad martial artist is NOT one of them.

    That's just my two cents!

    God bless all of you and your families!

  22. I'll never be convinced that Segal's stories are entirely true, sure there's some truth to them but reckon he simply makes a lot of it up.
    Let's face it,he's a story teller and not even a good one, A person with real knowledge and true skills, helps and teachers others, and seldom praises themselves.
    So where does that leave Segal, probably close to the bottom of those genuine martial artists who are well remembered and respected.

  23. Steven Seagal has a minimum of 30 black belts in various styles of BULLSHIDO. Look up all the videos when they have caught him in lies like i helped train Bruce Lee, "our sons were the same age". Interviewer had date files on hand and he nearly shit himself trying to backtrack. Multiple black belts??? You think that means anything?? Schools are belt mills giving rank to anyone, you know your in the business to make a profit, can't have you failing students, bad for business. No nit picking. Would you like a black belt?? I can do that. Sorry limited to 3 arts so i can't give you the 30 plus Seagal has, claims, whatever. Oh dear Lord.

  24. One of the worst actors ever. The only Steven Seagal films I liked were Under Siege, Under Siege 2, Executive Decision and Above the Law (Nico). Hated the rest.

  25. I have many black belts I've got a couple from Walmart one from Amazon and I've even got one from eBay lol and they all still fit even after many years Can Steven Seagal say that !! Do all the great fake martial arts masters have huge stomachs ? The bigger the belly the more full of [email protected]# they are . I'm just saying

  26. Hey you have to give credit where its due. He's rich. Been around the world a hundred times . and still makes movies. Very few can make that claim.

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